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Explosion in a Cathedral

Explosion in a Cathedral

“If Carpentier is ever to get a new reading in English, it should be now. . . . West’s translations . . . reintroduce English-language readers to this giant of Latin American fiction.” —Natasha Wimmer, The New York Review of Books

One of Cuba’s—and Latin America’s—greatest historical novels, about imperial conquest carried out under the guise of liberation, in its first new English translation in sixty years and featuring a new foreword by Alejandro Zambra

A Penguin Classic

When he arrives in Cuba at the close of the eighteenth century, Victor Hugues, a merchant sailor from Marseille, brings with him not only the idealism of the French Revolution but also its ambition and bloodlust. Landing at the Havana doorstep of a trio of wealthy, eccentric Creole orphans, he sweeps them across the Caribbean Sea to Guadeloupe, whose enslaved Africans he frees only then to exploit them in his fight against the British for colonial sovereignty. What ensues in Alejo Carpentier’s swashbuckling, magical realist masterpiece is an explosive clash between the New World and the Old World, and between revolutionary ideals and the corrupting allure of power.

For more than seventy-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 2,000 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.